Boundaries in the bedroom

Insist on being yourself in the bedroom, ladies!  What do I mean by that? Well, unfortunately, I frequently hear stories from women about how their husbands are asking them to do increasingly bizarre things in the bedroom.  Their guys want them to perform rather perverse sex acts, or dress like a stripper and do a pole dance, or dress like a dominatrix with whips and chains.

Why are many husbands asking these things of their wives?  It’s likely because they’ve seen such stuff in pornography and they’re trying to replicate it with you!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think this is ok.  Does it seem right that your husband would use you to try to recreate a fantasy featuring another woman he saw on a porn site?  At that point, your husband isn’t even making love to you.  It’s only about the sex act and you’re just playing a role.

The Bible instructs husbands in 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”  It is not respectful for your husband to ask you to play the role of some fantasy character from a porn site!  I believe it’s right for you to insist that you get to be yourself in the bedroom.  Yes, as wives, we can wear sexy lingerie and yes, we certainly should want to please our husbands, but let’s agree to be ourselves, and not some high school cheerleader or dominatrix!  That’s my take on the subject. What do you think?

One of the top needs of a man

Did you know you can enhance the relationship with your husband by allowing a gap for him to fill?   It’s true.  So often, women zoom in to fill all voids in leadership, responsibility, or tasks.  There’s something that needs to be handled, and you might even ask your husband to do it, but if he doesn’t jump off his chair and do it in the next 2 seconds, you do it yourself!  In a nutshell, you subtly communicate that you don’t really need him.  But your man wants to be needed by you. That’s one of the top needs of your husband! He wants to be your hero.  He wants to be your knight in shining armor. 

Your man is wired to crave your admiration and respect.  That’s likely why God tells wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“.  One of the ways your husband will feel respected is when you demonstrate that you value and need his abilities, strength, and character.

Start thinking of ways you can let your man know that you need him.  Do you have a bad headache?  Ask him to pray for you.  Do you have a heavy box that needs to be moved?  Ask him if he can lift it for you.  Let him know he is needed.  He will feel better about himself as he senses that you truly value him and need his strength, abilities, and character.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

Helping him become the spiritual leader

Many women lament the fact that their husbands won’t pray with them and their husbands aren’t really the spiritual leader….but, here’s something I’ve observed over the years that may shed some light on your predicament.  If you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your family, you have to stop being the leader yourself!  Sometimes women, including myself, can be so eager to bring spiritual disciplines into our family life that we leave no gap for our husbands to fill.  Perhaps this is why God repeatedly instructs wives to be submissive!  Titus 2:5 tells women to be “self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands”. 

In other words, instead of you jumping in and praying for the kids when they get tucked into bed at night, you could ask your husband for his help with that.  If you would like the Bible to be read aloud after dinner, tell your husband you love the sound of his voice when he reads and ask him if he would read the Bible.  After he has read the Bible passage, ask him what he thinks God is saying…and then listen attentively to his answer.  When you’re not feeling well, you could tell him it would mean the world to you if he were to just lay a hand on your shoulder and say a simple prayer.  Even a one-sentence prayer is fine.  And when he does any of these things, be encouraging and thankful!  Build him up.

When a woman takes over any area of leadership, many men will simply back off.  So, if you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your home, you need to allow there to be a bit of a void in that area. Then ask him for his help.  🙂

A core need of most husbands

Men are wired differently than women.  Duh!  One of the ways most men differ from us is that, instead of sitting and talking about their feelings and deepest longings, they like to do stuff.  You may not realize it, but most husbands really want their wives to do stuff with them!  They want to spend time with you.

This is really made apparent way back at the creation of the world.  Right after God created man, He said in Genesis 2:18, “It’s not good for man to be alone.  I will create a helper suitable for him.”  God knew Adam needed companionship!

Make it a point this week to show some interest in joining your husband in one of his hobbies or activities or even one of his errands.  Does he like to golf?  I bet he would love for you to go with him and watch him, or have him give you a lesson on how to play golf if you don’t already know.  Does he like to ride a bicycle?  Get a bike and take a ride with him.  Does he like to tinker with fixing up old cars?  Sit and watch him and ask if he can explain what he’s doing.  Maybe you can hand him a tool as he works.  Does he need to pick up some paint at a home improvement store?  Ask if you can tag along.

Bonus:  You’ll likely find that as you’re doing something together, men find it easier to talk to you!  Look forward to some actual conversations.  🙂

A husband’s need for physical intimacy

I have interviewed quite a few men who are marriage conference speakers and they all say the same thing…a man deeply needs his wife to be interested in a robust sex life with him.  They agree that a husband feels more like a man, has a more positive attitude, and accomplishes more in life when his wife fosters an active sex life.

Conversely, when a wife neglects her husband sexually or makes it clear she’s barely tolerating sex…then Satan has a huge opening to begin tempting your husband to satisfy his desires with porn or another woman.  1 Corinthians 7:5 makes this clear when it says “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

Most women don’t need frequent sex with their spouse the same way that a man does.  It’s one of the many ways we’re wired differently.  But if you want your husband to feel like a man, to be bonded to you, and to be so pumped up that he can go out and slay dragons, then you need to think about building a healthy, robust sex life with him.  I know you have 101 other things you need to do, but can you leave some dirty dishes in the sink or wait to tidy up the house until the morning?  Your husband needs you tonight!

His idea of spending time together

Many wives are familiar with the Bible’s account of creation and know that after creating Adam, God said “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will create a helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)   If you really think about this verse, it becomes clear that one of a husband’s core needs is to spend time with his wife so that he is not alone!

That sounds easy to accomplish. Right?  I mean most wives are totally willing, and even eager, to spend time with their husband….sitting on the couch, staring into each other’s eyes, and deeply sharing their feelings, thoughts, and hopes.  Ummm.  That’s not exactly how most men think about “spending time” with their wife!

A man’s version of spending time together typically involves physically doing stuff together, such as attending a sporting event, going hiking, playing golf, going fishing, walking through the home improvement store together, and yes, having sex.  That’s a man’s version of companionship.   This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your husband to spend some time with you in meaningful conversation from time to time, but it does mean you should consider engaging in his version of quality time periodically as well.  Try it, and see if he doesn’t fall just a little more in love with you. 🙂

2 things husbands want you to know

My husband regularly talks with other men as the leader of a large men’s ministry called Band of Brothers For Christ.  Recently, I asked my husband what 2 things he believes most husbands wish their wives understood about men.  Here’s what he said:

1) That he needs to be valued by you.  In other words, he wants you to notice and be thankful for all the things he does for you and the family.  He needs to be needed.

2) That you would appreciate and admire his efforts….efforts to grow spiritually and in character, and that you would be patient and encouraging during that process.  My husband said it takes time for a man to break free from all the temptations of the world and the lusts of his flesh, and that it’s super helpful if his wife acknowledges any forward progress he’s making, no matter how small.

After my husband explained this to me, it occurred to me that wives will automatically start filling these needs in our men when WE seek to follow God’s instructions on “how to love” in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

This will endear you to your husband

After years of working alongside my husband to counsel and mentor couples in distress, I’ve noticed a common issue.  Even though many of the husbands have greatly disappointed or frustrated their wives, the wives come across as condemning and arrogant.  Ouch!

When a wife is perceived as being arrogant and self-righteous, the husband usually avoids her, becomes passive aggressive, and self-medicates his pain through destructive choices such as alcohol, pornography, or even other women.

What if you were to choose to deal with your frustration and disappointment in a different way?  What if you were to display humility, kindness and love…even when confronting destructive behavior?  One quality that will really endear you to your husband is humility, and it’s Biblical!  Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but the interest of others.”

Catch yourself if you start talking down to your husband or start treating him like he is disgusting or inferior to you.  In that moment, ask God to give you His perspective on your husband.  Ask God to remind you that you’re not perfect either and that you’re both a work in progress…in the master’s hands.

Men are drawn to cheerleaders

I thought the title of this devotional would get your attention!!  🙂   However, I’m not talking about guys lusting after scantily-clad Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.  Instead, I’m talking about how men are naturally drawn to women who are cheerleaders in the sense of being their supporters and encouragers.  So let me ask you this question.  Does your husband sense that you are his cheerleader?

Most men struggle with feeling inadequate.  Most men wrestle with feeling like a failure.  Many men may never put effort into being a better father, husband, employee, or disciple of Jesus because they fear failure.  In other words, they’d rather not try at all if it means they could risk the embarrassment of people noticing them failing in their endeavor.  Perhaps this is why God instructed Joshua over and over again to “be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:9). Joshua’s natural bent was to fear failure instead of stepping out with courage.

This is where a wife can make a huge difference!  By speaking words of encouragement and affirmation and respect, your husband may find the courage to move forward.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 instructs us to “encourage one another and build each other up”.   By becoming your husband’s cheerleader, your man may risk failure to step out and seek to be become a stronger, and more godly, leader of your family.   Wouldn’t that be awesome?!

What capable wives need to know

There’s certainly nothing wrong with being a confident and capable woman.  In fact, I usually feel pretty strong, confident, and capable.  However, I’ve realized something very important to the health of my marriage.  I need to allow my husband to be needed by me!  When I act like he isn’t needed, he feels emasculated.  Your husband probably does too.

Men are wired by God to be leaders.  In fact, in Ephesians 5:22-24, God makes it pretty clear that the husband is the leader, not the wife!  “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

So, even though you are a strong capable woman, give room for your husband to lead.  Avoid making all the decisions for your family.  Ask him to make some decisions.  Even though you’re perfectly capable, ask him to help you with some projects.  Yes, you can re-arrange the living room furniture without his help, but he will enjoy being needed by you if you ask him to lift the heavy furniture.  (And don’t forget to admire his muscles!)